Three UK industry bodies representing nuclear, solar and wind generators, are calling for urgent action to reinforce the country’s renewable capacity, and for the government to make a firm commitment to decarbonising the electricity network by 2035.

According to data provided by National Grid ESO, the average carbon intensity of the grid between January and April 2021, was 5% higher than the equivalent period from the previous year. The increase has been underpinned by an over-20% increase in gas-fired power generation, as cold weather and low wind output have combined to increase the need for flexible supply sources.

National electricity demand is set to more than double by 2050, as domestic heat pumps, electric vehicles and green hydrogen production, will all ramp up significantly.

According to industry bodies the Nuclear Industry Association, RenewableUK and Solar Energy UK, the electricity grid must be fully decarbonised by 2035 in order for the country to meet its target of a 78% reduction in total emissions.

In order to hasten progress towards this target, the industry bodies advocate an increase in carbon cost in order to incentivise reduced consumption levels. In addition, they are calling for firm 2030 targets on new wind installations, the return of subsidy in the solar sector and for the government to endorse a financing model for new nuclear projects.

The Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, Chris Hewett, said:

“A truly resilient net zero grid, in line with the Government’s climate ambitions, needs a broad mix of zero-carbon technologies. Solar is becoming a major global industry and the UK must keep pace. We need to see solar energy trebled in capacity by the end of the decade, in keeping with forecasts produced by the Climate Change Committee.”

Share This